There is no doubt that higher education has undergone a massive change in the last few years that has not happened to it in the previous few decades. The process of globalization and the informatization of society have been greatly accelerated by the pandemic that has begun. Together, these factors have opened up new perspectives for higher education in different regions of the world, and in the Arab countries in particular, which the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) has the task of considering at its regional meeting in Cairo.
The example of European countries has shown how practical the introduction of international programs of study can be. In recent years, international education has been transformed from a promising model into a reality. Representatives of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Egypt agree that the results of the Fourth Industrial Revolution demonstrate the need for a multidimensional effort to integrate higher education in the Arab countries into the international educational community. This requires the consolidation of data on the prospects for international cooperation, as well as an assessment of regional and national resources for the necessary changes. This information must be publicly available to both government officials and foreign partners.
The efforts of all members of the association should be aimed at organizing jointly effective integration work, which can be ensured only with a preliminary assessment of their regional and national resources. It is also necessary to make all transformations public and to ensure the most active interaction of regional and international educational organizations.
Over the past few years, humanity has faced a particularly strong need for unity and cooperation in many spheres of life, including education. In this regard, there is a need to reconsider the long-term prospects for higher education, which is also undergoing major changes. The picture of the educational system by 2030 consists of several basic elements of education, each of which should be analyzed separately.
Any university is based on the development of 6 components: digitalization, international collaboration, public service and governance, skills and competencies, sustainability in the three dimensions, research and innovation. Each of these aspects will be largely transformed and will bring higher education closer to its benchmark. In the realities of the Arab countries, the components of skills and competencies and international collaboration require special attention. From the perspective of the former, the development of higher education should pay attention to the development of meta-skills, which include digital literacy and general human skills for working with students and structuring the workflow. In Arab countries, it is also necessary to raise the prestige of professional training and retraining in order to avoid serious shortages of teaching staff in the future (Karabchuk et al., 2021). From an international collaborative perspective, work within universities must be tailored to regional and national specificities and higher education opportunities. In the Arab countries, one of the key factors is the current shortage of professional staff and students since a large proportion of young people refuse to continue their studies at universities.
Thus, what higher education will look like by 2030 depends on performance in key areas of education. Critical to the realities of Arab countries is an international collaboration, which must be carried out with the utmost regional sensitivity. Also significant is the area of skills and competencies, which requires the development of programs to develop professional qualities and universal ones.
Karabchuk, T., Shomotova, A., & Chmel, K. (2021). Paradox of research productivity of higher education institutions in Arab Gulf countries: The case of the UAE. Higher Education Quarterly.